Here's a copy of the e-mail I received, sent out to all Premium users. I'll simply forward it to all of you:
Dear eBaum'sWorld loyal patron,
If you're curious why eBaum's has been lagging lately, we'd first like to apologize and explain why. The site is going through some massive reforms under the new management. As you are all aware, eBaum'sWorld has been through several management changes in the last 18 months, each trying to turn eBaum'sWorld into a profitable entity again, while making the unique user experience that we all come to love just as great as it has always been.
eBaum'sWorld is making these changes to expand entertainment to the most amount of people and reduce costs at the same time. eBaum'sWorld's changes will make moderators more accountable, expand featured content to all users, and make eBaum'sWorld more viable into the future at the same time. Here's how:
· We will be making Premium membership more affordable by providing more ad space to our sponsors, allowing us to reduce Premium membership costs for dozens of users and make Premium membership more affordable to those who are priced out of Premium today. This helps the 1 million eBaum'sWorld daily visitors afford Premium that otherwise could not afford it. Under the new structure, 95% of eBaum'sWorld could be Premium users.
· It sets up a new eBones store where users can purchase prizes with eBone points and with actual money via PayPal, giving users access to the same prizes as Premium and high-ranking users have.
· It brings greater accountability to eBaum'sWorld moderators by laying out commonsense rules of the road to keep Premium membership up and prevent moderator abuses such as banning and deleting comments. Under these new rules, everyone will be allowed unlimited access to the site, including Premium sections without moderators denying users from access.
· To make all this work, all active users will be required to earn 500 eBones (about 10 video uploads of unique content) per month, or pay the reduced Premium membership dues which are about 10% less than the old dues. Thus, all users will then have access to Premium sections of the site. If you choose not to have Premium, you may still view all non-Premium media that you can now. However, to activate comments, user profiles, and the Premium sections, you will be required to earn eBones or pay Premium dues.
These changes will take effect sometime this fall.
Thank you for your loyal support to eBaum'sWorld!
CEO, President of Marketing
Fortunately, I already pay for Premium, so my fees just go down. But personally I think it kinda sucks they are making everyone pay now. I guess as long as you work for it, it's still free, but I don't think getting Premium will be worth it to most people. All they want it the basics and it's free already.